Proper nutrition and increased activity levels post-bariatric surgery are key to maintaining weight loss and for a healthy life after surgery. A recent study published last month looked at the lifestyles of people who had undergone bariatric surgery and compared that data to individuals who were eligible for surgery but had not received it and individuals who were of average weight. Essentially, the study wanted to see if people who had weight loss surgery increased their exercise levels compared to before surgery and how those levels compared to the average for the general population.
The results of this study showed that on average, individuals who have received bariatric surgery exercised approximately 50 minutes more per week than obese individuals who had not received bariatric surgery. The research also showed that individuals with weight in the normal range (in this study, defined by BMI being between 18 and 25) met physical activity guidelines at a rate twice as much as individuals who had undergone surgery. Basically, for people who have surgery, they tend to increase their activity in comparison to prior to surgery, they keep their activity levels higher over several years, but that the activity levels are still not as high as they should be based on current guidelines. Current guidelines suggest moderate-to-vigorous physical activity most days of the week.
The results of this study show a couple of different things. First, the increase of activity levels in bariatric patients is a great step toward long term success and health of bariatric patients. On average, patients who had undergone bariatric surgery had moderate-to-vigorous physical activity measured at nearly 2.5 hours per week in comparison to obese patients clocking 1.5 hours per week. This is definitely a great improvement. Physical activity is good for all parts of the body, including cardio for the heart and strength training for the bones and muscles. It is advised all individuals, as directed by their doctor, get a balance of cardio, strength, and stretching exercise on a regular basis. Secondly, however, the exercise rates of bariatric patients still needed some improvement. Doctors and health care providers should remember to emphasize the importance of exercise in addition to the dietary changes required post-surgery.
A good combination of nutrition, supplementation, and a good amount of activity most days of the week will benefit your overall health. If you have questions about your activity level and whether you should be including different exercises in your routine, ask your doctor for suggestions on increasing your activity in a healthy way.